Rockies Nolan Arenado on his way to winning NL ROY


Colorado Rockies column banner: In the Rockpile -- Roy Oswalt

Nolan Arenado connects for a hit.
Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado has been valuable at third base and the plate. He is one of the top three rookies in the NL and well on his way to winning Rookie of the Year. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images North America)

If you blinked, you may have missed it: The Colorado Rockies worked a four-game win streak, including a sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Normally, that wouldn’t be anything to be too excited about, but the Pirates have been one of the best teams in baseball all season. Just last week the Rockies left Pittsburgh after a four-game sweep. It was good to return the favor.

The most positive storyline of the second half for the Rockies has been rookie third baseman Nolan Arenado, who is making a hell of case for NL Rookie of the Year. While he may not be leading in batting average, he been impressive overall and could outshine St. Louis’ Matt Adams.

Adams has played in fewer games  — 70 to Arenado’s 95 — and is not leading NL rookies in at-bats, RBIs, home runs … pretty much everything Arenado is leading. But Adams owns the statistical compilation stats of BA, OPS and slugging.

So, Arenado isn’t beating him there, but he is surely making the best case for first-place voting over the field with his production. He hasn’t been an absolutely consistent batter, but he has been defensively sound and made some amazing plays at third, in addition to delivering clutch hits and home runs.

Arenado has been as advertised. One of the few things the Rockies minor league system gets right is developing position players. Not so much pitchers. While the Rockies drift from incapable to hopeless, Nolan Arenado is making his way to an end-of-season award and another bullet on Dan O’Dowd’s resume that he’ll never have to write so long as club owner Dick Monfort continues to believe he has the best general manager in baseball.

After all, he does oversee an organization that has turned out some quality batters and acquired the occasional half-decent pitcher.

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